Feb 27, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterFour teams will battle for two remaining state tournament berths when the Class 4-A West regional girls basketball tournament begins Thursday in Green River.
The fifth-seeded Riverton Lady Wolverines (5-19, 2-8 Class 4-A West) begin their quest with a 4 p.m. game against the fourth-seeded Evanston Lady Red Devils (8-15, 5-5 4-A West), the same team they played just five days before. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. at Green River High School.
In the other first-round game, third-seed Kelly Walsh No. 6 Green River at 7 p.m. Thursday
A win puts Riverton into the state tournament, and the Wolverines would advance to the state tournament seeding bracket against Casper Natrona, the conference's top seed, at 7 p.m. Friday.
Rock Springs, the second seed, will play the winner of the Kelly Walsh vs. Green River matchup Friday at 4 p.m.
For Riverton, Thursday's game seems to be about the number three.
It will be the third time the teams have played. In the two prior games, Riverton fell to Evanston by three points in both. In their home game at Wolverine Gym, Riverton put together three solid quarters but fell short 44-41, and last Saturday's game in Evanston was also decided by a three-point margin, 32-29.
"We're hoping that the third time will be the charm. We look forward to the opportunity, and I think our kids are extremely hungry," Riverton head coach Ron Porter said.
The RHS girls have not been to state in years.
Last year, Riverton, after not winning a single conference game all year, nearly pulled off the upset of the season and led for three quarters in the first round of the regional tournament before falling the the Lady Red Devils by three points 30-27 in Wolverine Gym.
"They do remember that. We had our opportunities, and it laid the groundwork for this year," Porter said.
The Wolverines will need to stop Lady Red Devil McKensie Herold who averages just under 10 points per game and scored 13 of her team's 32 last Saturday.
Riverton's prescription for a win is to be balanced at both ends of the court.
"We know that we need to control the boards and achieve balanced scoring. If we get four or five kids with six to 10 points, we'll have a pretty good shot. We don't need any help from anyone else. We have to go out and grab what we all want, and that is a state tournament berth," Porter said.
Class 4-A West Regional Girls Pairings
(at Green River)
Green River (6) vs Kelly Walsh (3) -- 7 p.m. Thursday
Riverton (5) vs Evanston (4) -- 4 p.m. Thursday
Green River vs. Kelly Walsh Winner vs Rock Springs (2) -- 4 p.m. Friday
Riverton vs. Evanston Winner vs Natrona (1) -- 7 p.m. Friday
Class 4-A East Regional Pairings
Cheyenne South (6) vs. Gillette (3) -- 7:30 p.m.
Cheyenne Central (5) vs. Laramie (4) (in Laramie, 5 p.m.Thursday)
Cheyenne South vs. Gillette Winner vs. Cheyenne East (2) -- 4 p.m. Friday
Cheyenne Central (5) vs. Laramie (4) Winner vs. 1 Sheridan -- 7 p.m. Friday
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